"Batman on Turner Classic Movies tomorrow at 10 am, not sure what it is."
I was going through the guide and spotted it, at first I thought it might be one of the serials but it's only set for a half hour. According to the description Batman battles a Japanese scientist who turns people into zombies.
It's on at 10 am I've set the dvr, but anyone know what it is? Doesn't sound like any episode of the 1966 show, it's not listed as a cartoon.
I've not seen it, but that's the first serial. It might be two episodes.
TCM's site says:
Batman: Electrical Brain, The (1943)
The Caped Crusader battles a Japanese scientist turning people into zombies,
That's the first chapter of the 1943 serial, entitled simply Batman.
The first chapter was a bit longer than the typical one.
The VHS releases cleaned up some nasty comments about Japanese people (war time, you know), but TCM will probably keep the original dialogue.
Sounds interesting enough to look at. I wonder if they are going to start showing the serials.
TCM ran this one, and some others (including the Columbia Superman serials) in weekly installments several years ago, and AMC had run it prior to that (they even showed all of it in an overnight marathon). I got to see it as a kid when it was revived (in one huge showing) when the Batman tv show debuted.
It's clumsy, even inept at times, but fun, with J. Carroll Naish, Shirley Patterson and Charles Middleton giving appropriate performances. The director was Lambert Hillyer, who mostly helmed Wesrtens, but also gave us The Invisible Ray and Dracula's Daughter.
Doctor Daka or Prince Daka appeared in All Star Squadron #42-44 (F-Ap'85) which predated the Batman serial. There he was after Starman's gravity rod and led Sumo the Samurai, Kung--the Assassin of a Thousand Claws and Tsunami.
The opening chapter was a great start but the costumes are so awkward! And the Dynamic Duo hardly give a good showing, fighting-wise!
Also a line of dialogue seems to suggest that Bruce and Dick are working for the government.
But he does have a nice office in the Bat-Cave!
That's the one where Batman's ears look like devil horns. I have to think it would have been better if Charles Middleton had been the bad guy. Ming the Merciless with hair.
Batman's cape-and-cowl ranges from black to light gray. I'm not sure if that was done for mood, or it was a continuity error.
They often substitute a hairy, muscular stunt man for Robin's fight scenes.
And the Batmobile was a grey sedan I believe, despite DC asking them to use a black car. The budgets weren't exactly what Tom Tyler or Buster Crabbe used to get.
Worse, the "Batmobile" was consistently identified as Bruce Wayne's car, which Batman had borrowed from him--way to keep the identity a secret!
You may also notice that Robin is apt to call his mentor "Bruce" when in uniform and "Batman" when not. Presumably, it's when no one else is listening, but it's still difficult to explain.
The character is often referred to as "The Batman," i.e., complete with definite article, in the older style. Makes one wonder why the serial was titled simply "Batman."
As you can see from this newspaper clipping, the entire 1943 serial was shown at the Playboy Theater in Chicago, in October of 1965. I believe that Hugh Hefner had a print and showed chapters to his house guests when they got bored. Honest!
It played in a wider range if theaters when the TV series began in January 1966.